Huawei Hits Verizon With Patent Lawsuit

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Chinese firm Huawei Technologies alleges US carrier Verizon “profited greatly” from using its patents without authorisation

US carrier Verizon has been served with a lawsuit from Chinese networking giant Huawei Technologies, over alleged unauthorised patent use.

Huawei alleges that American carrier used 12 of its patents without authorisation, and it is seeking compensation, as well as ongoing royalty payments.

The patents cover a number of technologies including computer networking, download security and video communications. None of the patents involve 5G technologies.

Patent usage

The lawsuit was filed with the Eastern and Western District courts in Texas, Reuters reported, which also stated that Verizon has previously declined to comment on its patent dispute with Huawei.

“Verizon’s products and services have benefited from patented technology that Huawei developed over many years of research and development,” Huawei’s Chief Legal Office was reported by Reuters as saying in a statement.

“Huawei is simply asking that Verizon respect Huawei’s investment in research and development by either paying for the use of our patents, or refraining from using them in its products and services.”

Huawei could not provide a figure on the compensation as it does not have a breakdown of the patents’ alleged contribution to Verizon’s services, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

In the court documents, Huawei alleged that Verizon “profited greatly” from its technology.

It seems that both Huawei and Verizon held six face-to-face meetings over the matter since February last year but did not reach an agreement, the person told Reuters. He or she is not authorised to speak publicly on the matter and so declined to be identified.

In June, the Wall Street Journal reported that Huawei was seeking compensation from Verizon for the use of more than 200 of its patents.

The Chinese company apparently decided to take action for 12 patents because it considered evidence for them was clearest and that the number was manageable for the court, the person told Reuters.

US government

In March 2019, Huawei sued the US government over a ban on the use of its telecoms products, in an effort to push back against what it says are baseless US allegations against the firm.

It had filed the lawsuit in the US district court in Plano, Texas, the Dallas suburb where its US headquarters are located, targeting a 2018 measure that bans US government agencies from buying Huawei equipment.

Huawei and ZTE have long been declared a national security threat in the US, and Huawei, which is the second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, is effectively barred from selling its handsets in the country.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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